COVID-19 Study Shows Transmission In Schools Is Considerably Less Than Influenza

COVID-19 Study Shows Transmission In Schools Is Considerably Less Than Influenza from Natural Blaze

Transmission of COVID-19 in schools is less than other respiratory viruses

The rate of COVID-19 transmission in New South Wales (NSW) educational settings was extremely limited during the first wave of COVID-19, research findings published today in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health have shown.

Researchers from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) and the University of Sydney released their preliminary findings from this work from January to April 2020.

The Lancet publication today contains detailed analysis on COVID-19 spread in 25 educational settings (15 schools and 10 childcare settings) in Term 1. Additional data from Term 2 and 3 are also available today.

Lead author Professor Kristine Macartney said the study showed transmission rates in NSW schools and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services were minimal, particularly between children and from children to adults.

“This is the first comprehensive population-based assessment of coronavirus transmission in educational settings worldwide,” Professor Macartney said.

COVID-19 transmission in schools appears to be considerably less than that seen for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza.

“This supports the previous findings that COVID-19 transmission in educational settings can be kept low and manageable in the context of an effective pandemic response that includes contact tracing and quarantine, and temporary school closures for cleaning if someone is found to be infected.

“It is also consistent with other data that show lower rates, and generally milder disease, in children than in adults.

“However, it is important to view these findings in the context of the NSW outbreak. Higher rates of transmission may occur in areas with higher levels of virus transmission in the community or with less rigorous public health and community response.”

In Term 1 and 2 there have been 33 initial cases of COVID-19 confirmed at 31 of NSW’s 7700 schools and ECEC services, with 25 sites in Term 1 and six during Term 2 affected.

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